Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Argument

I hear my own sickness in my brother’s words as he continues to press down on his open wound. I remember this feeling of torment as a tense hollow gut, a tight rope for sibling jousting. It is all too familiar, the silent voice of curses beneath a smiling calm, so insidious a smile that it grows more comfortable until it is unnoticed, automatic. This used to be ‘the game’. The object was to win at all cost, leaving behind any vestige of virtue at which point we were licensed to say and do anything to generate pain in the other. And now years later, I think of it as ‘the torture’ as we relive the ritual and chant our mantra "Are we feeling my pain yet?"

The oppressor and the oppressed, angry and angered, I am ashamed of this inescapable me. To stand victorious over the barbarian as retribution for a lifetime of unworthiness or to wallow in victim’s tears in a lifetime of fear and degradation, neither victor nor victim is free. We remain trapped in our misery.

I am inclined to share our notion of disadvantage or weakness at any opportunity by suppressing others. My subconscious speaks for me, “Do you understand me as I manipulate you with these words, until I see my pain in your eyes? Ah finally, there it is.” And the more people we infect, the less lonely we feel. It is an elite form of psycho-bacterial warfare that I participate in. And like bacteria it is most easily shared with those who are closest to us. “So you are weak” my grinning subconscious continues “So am I. Happy to meet you…really”.

‘He heard it and sank deeper than sorrow, through torn sobs and cries toward consummation of his heart’s ultimate need.’ – from Seize the Day by Saul Bellow

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